Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. branded as Walmart, is an American multinational retail corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores. According to the Fortune Global 500 list in 2012, the biggest private employer in the world with over two million employees, and is the largest retailer in the world. Walmart remains a family-owned business, as the company is controlled by the Walton family, who own a 48 percent stake in Walmart. It is also one of the world’s most valuable companies.
The company was founded by Sam Walton in 1962, incorporated on October 31, 1969, and traded on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. Its headquarters is located in Bentonville, Arkansas. Walmart is also the largest grocery retailer in the United States. In 2009, it generated 51 percent of its US$258 billion sales in the U. S. from grocery business and it also owns and operates the Sam’s Club retail warehouses in North America. Walmart has 8,500 stores in 15 countries, under 55 different names. Walmart Stores U. S. is the company’s largest division, accounting for $258 billion, or 63. percent of total sales for financial year 2010.
It consists of three retail formats that have become commonplace in the United States: Discount Stores, Supercenters, and Walmart Markets. The retail department stores sell a variety of mostly non-grocery products, though nowadays you can buy almost anything in what they now call supercenters, which include more grocery items. This division also includes Walmart’s online retailer, www. walmart. com. It is the world’s third largest corporation and still to this day it continues to thrive and business is booming.